A lesson in abrogation, Islam, and what it means to the West

"Abrogation" means that today's promises and today's beliefs can be thrown out tomorrow; how do you trust a faith and a people that practice abrogation?

By Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil - Agência Brasil by Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil. 01.Dec.2003 as 11605.jpg, from where it was downloaded, cropped, and resized by Hajor., CC BY 3.0 br, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=171458

CHARLOTTE, N.C., February 7, 2017 — Islam is a complex subject; it is intentionally designed that way. The more confusing it is, the easier it is to disguise its true meanings.

One aspect of Islam that few Westerners grasp is the doctrine of “abrogation.” Without a clear understanding of “abrogation,” it is impossible to understand the full meaning of the religion.

Raymond Ibrahim is among the best at simplifying and explaining Islamic beliefs and revealing its hidden messages. He does just that in a discussion of Stephen M. Kirby’s “Islam’s Militant Prophet: Muhammad and Forced Conversion to Islam.”

What Ibrahim likes best about Kirby’s research is the use of explanations by learned Islamic scholars who openly contradict themselves when offering explanations of their religion.

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Writes Ibrahim, “he (Kirby) focuses exclusively on the career of Muhammad, from its beginnings in 610 till his death in 632, as recorded in Islam’s primary sources, the Koran and Hadith. Along the way readers are provided useful explanations of arcane or misunderstood doctrines, such as abrogation, which is essential for any exegesis.”

Though Islam boasts of large numbers of believers,” many observers opine that it is little more than a cult. Massive, to be sure, but still adhering to the basic definition in the “American Heritage College Dictionary”: “A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extreme or false, with its followers often living communally under an authoritarian charismatic leader.”

Perhaps “communal living” is a stretch, but one of the key elements of Islamic growth in many Western countries is the failure and lack of desire to assimilate into new environments. In that sense, Muslims do live communally.

How has Islam grown so large if it is so extreme?”

First, Islam appeals heavily to the poor and uneducated. Not all Muslims fall into that category, but the religion as Muhammad created it was designed to give the downtrodden people of Mecca a path to worship through common life experiences.

Second, Muhammad’s method of building his followers was, as it remains today, a choice between paying a heavy tax, death or converting to Islam. For most, the funds for the tax, or Jizyah, were not available, leaving only death or conversion as options.

Muhammad fought more than 80 battles in the last ten years of his life. Most of the time he was victorious, and those successes accounted for countless “conversions.” Thus, it is not difficult to see that the religion has grown exponentially over the past 1400 years, even though many “converts” who call themselves “Muslims” have no true concept of what their religion truly teaches.

Frequently we hear Islamic apologists use the six word phrase “there is no compulsion in Islam.”

As Raymond Ibrahim and Stephen Kirby point out, this “was a unique command that had doctrinal authority for only a little over two years. It was abrogated (emphasis added) both by the Sunnah and the Koran.”

Abrogation means “to do away with or annul.”

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Thus if something came along that suited Muhammad’s needs better, he simply “abrogated” the old law and replaced it with a “revelation of convenience.”

As Ibrahim notes, “according to Islam’s earliest histories, sincere belief in Muhammad’s prophetic claims is lacking. The overwhelming majority of those who converted to Islam did so either under duress—literally to save their heads—or else to be part of Muhammad’s ‘winning team.'”

Lack of followers was one of Muhammad’s primary reasons for moving from Mecca to Medina. That, combined with the promise of an army, became the Hijrah, or migration, which marks the beginning of Islam in 622.

Immigration watchers in the West today should take note because what we are witnessing in the early 21st century is yet another hijrah of Islamic migrants.

Ibrahim sums up, “the Koran’s claim that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ seems more of an assertion, a statement of fact, than a command for Muslims to uphold. After all, it is true: no Muslim can make a non-Muslim say the words ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’ But that doesn’t mean they can’t enslave, extort, plunder, torture, and slaughter those who refuse.”

History is on the side of those who recognize the dangers of uncontrolled Islamic growth. This is not Islamophobia. The problem is real. It is time to give the situation some serious consideration before conversion becomes the only choice we have left.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News; follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod; Contact Bob at Google+

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